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Best In Class: Maximizing Memorial Day Sales

Walmart has American flags on display to maximize Memorial Day sales.

Last updated on May 24th, 2024 at 11:30 am

Memorial Day, a federal holiday honoring those who died while serving in the U.S. military, also marks the unofficial start of summer, synonymous with backyard barbecues, family gatherings and festive picnics. It’s also a prime opportunity for supermarkets to maximize Memorial Day sales by focusing on customer experience, value and community spirit.

Firing Up Customer Engagement

  • Interactive Grilling Demonstrations: Host in-store demonstrations throughout the week leading up to Memorial Day. Butchers can showcase grilling recipes, offer samples and answer customer questions. 
  • Festive Displays and Themed Aisles: Eye-catching displays featuring Memorial Day essentials like marinated meats, picnic salads and grilling essentials will grab attention and inspire menus. Dedicated “Memorial Day Grilling Headquarters” aisles group relevant products together for a streamlined shopping experience.
  • Digital Deals and Targeted Marketing: Leverage loyalty programs to send members exclusive coupons, discounts and curated recipe suggestions based on past shopping habits. This personalizes the shopping experience and simplifies meal planning.

To kick off summer and make Memorial Weekend memorable, Natural Grocers has compiled a group of inspiring recipes on its website. From refreshing summer drinks to easy appetizers, crisp summer salads, mouthwatering mains, and delectable desserts this collection of recipes was created, tested and approved by Natural Grocers’ own Nutritional Education Department. The retailer is also offering sales leading up to the holiday to encourage shoppers to stock up on their grilling favorites.

In addition, Shipt and Meijer have partnered to offer customers price savings on grilling essentials and a chance to win a sweepstakes. From May 23-27, Shipt customers shopping for select grilling essentials – such as meat, buns, condiments, chips and more – can save $10 on orders of $35 or more. Customers who order from the Meijer storefront on the Shipt app or Shipt.com are entered to win the Ultimate Summer Grilling Sweepstakes, complete with a curated collection of outdoor and grilling essentials, including a hammock and outdoor griddle, plus a year’s worth of groceries.

Leveraging Local Appeal

  • Local Sourcing Showcase: Partner with local butchers, farms and breweries to offer unique grilling packages. Shoppers appreciate freshness and supporting local businesses, especially during holidays.
  • Personalized Service with a Smile: Offer an unmatched level of personalized service. Staff can assist with menu planning, suggest recipe pairings based on preferences and build stronger customer relationships.
  • Weekly Flyers and Social Media Buzz: Create eye-catching weekly flyers featuring local produce, discounted grilling essentials and special “Memorial Day Picnic Basket” offers. Engaging social media promotions with local recipe contests or “Grill Master Tips” videos can further generate excitement. Consider partnering with local influencers for content creation.
  • “Meet the Local Producer” Event: Host an event where customers can meet local butchers, farmers and bakers. This fosters a sense of community and allows customers to learn about the products they’re buying.

Promotional Powerhouses

  • BOGO (Buy One, Get One) Deals: Popular on hot dogs, buns, condiments and chips, these deals encourage larger purchases and boost basket size.
  • Price Cuts on Grilling Favorites: Reduced prices on popular grilling meats like steaks, burgers, chicken breasts and kebabs will entice shoppers to consider grilling out.
    • Kroger is celebrating Memorial Day by featuring low prices on grilling essentials. Kroger’s grilling bundle ensures customers can enjoy a weekend honoring the occasion with family and friends for as little as $4 per person with all the fixings. “At Kroger, we are exceedingly grateful for the sacrifice, devotion and bravery of our armed forces who unselfishly gave their lives for the fundamental promise of American freedom,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “As our nation gathers to honor our fallen heroes, we stand in tribute to those men and women and salute active-duty military personnel home and away for their unrelenting courage and patriotism.”
  • Discounted Seasonal Produce: Promote seasonal fruits and vegetables perfect for salads and side dishes, offering a refreshing and healthy complement to grilled meats.
  • Pre-Assembled Picnic Baskets: For busy shoppers, offer pre-made picnic baskets with a variety of snacks, drinks and utensils for a convenient solution.
  • Multi-Buy Savings on Beverages: Discounts on buying multiple cases of beverages incentivize bulk purchases and ensure shoppers have enough drinks for gatherings.
  • Loyalty Program Rewards: Offer bonus points or exclusive deals to loyalty program members for Memorial Day purchases.

Community Spirit

Partner with local veteran’s organizations to host donation drives or offer discounts to veterans. Here are some examples of what grocers are doing to commemorate the holiday:

  • Schnucks Markets: Has partnered with Folds of Honor Foundation for seven years. Its “Round Up at the Register” campaign allows customers to round up their purchase total to the nearest dollar, with the difference going to Folds of Honor.
  • ShopRite: Holds a long-running Veterans Fundraising Campaign. Customers can donate any amount at checkout, with all proceeds benefiting local veterans organizations.
  • Southeastern Grocers: Partnering with Folds of Honor through a donation campaign. Shoppers can round up their grocery bills until June 18, and the grocer will match all donations made May 24-27, maximizing additional Memorial Day sales.
  • SpartanNash: Running an in-store fundraiser through June 2 to benefit Honor and Remember, Operation Homefront and Convoy of Hope. Customers can donate at SpartanNash-operated retail stores including Family Fare, Martin’s Super Markets, D&W Fresh Market, Forest Hills Foods and affiliated fuel centers, as well as online.

By following these tips and focusing on convenience, value and community, supermarkets can maximize Memorial Day sales by creating an enticing shopping experience.

Read more merchandising news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Carol Radice

Senior Content Creator

Carol joins The Shelby Report with more than 25 years writing for B2B magazines that cover the drugstore and supermarket industries. A Rutgers graduate, she earned her B.A. degree in journalism and mass communications more years ago than she cares to admit. She is thrilled to be working with such an accomplished team and to share her knowledge of the industry with Shelby’s readers.

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